Postal shipping lead time used to be 7-14 days but COVID-19 caused that lead time to balloon to as much as 60+ days.
HONG KONG — June 24, 2020 — AfterShip, the leading shipping and tracking platform for online retailers, today announced the company is making Postmen, its e-commerce shipping API, completely free with no limit on shipping volumes. Postmen is a scalable shipping solution that allows e-commerce companies to automate and optimize their shipping processes with 60 couriers worldwide.
Because of COVID-19, businesses around the world have had to temporarily close their brick and mortar stores, forcing them to rapidly adjust operations. The shift away from in-person retail has led to unprecedented demand for e-commerce shipments, and many companies have needed to scale and adapt to a very different retail environment. AfterShip’s simple Postmen API helps companies of all sizes mitigate this challenge and reduce costs by seamlessly integrating courier selection, cost and delivery time estimates, and the printing of shipping labels into their existing shipping infrastructure at no added cost to the shipper. Since February 2020, AfterShip has seen an 85% increase in shipping volume, instead of the typical decrease in volume that occurs in the months after the holiday retail season.
“Many retailers and fulfillment providers are trying to simultaneously scale their shipping operations and manage costs as a result of safe-distancing requirements and other economic impacts of COVID-19,” said Andrew Chan, co-founder at AfterShip. “A user-friendly, efficient shipping tool is critical for survival both now and as we look ahead to an unpredictable future. Postmen offers an easy, free solution to quickly scale shipping processes to meet the heightened demand for e-commerce.”
With Postmen, shippers — whether they are a small, local retailer or a large fulfillment center — can quickly choose the best shipping and courier options and estimate delivery times and costs for each courier. The API is easy for developers to integrate into a retailer’s shipping operation and integrates with businesses’ existing shipping accounts so they can continue applying discounted rates they’ve negotiated with couriers. With the API, developers can integrate their shipping process with any courier Postmen supports, shortening their usual integration time — which can be months per courier — to two weeks for all couriers supported by Postmen. AfterShip’s integration with USPS provides customers access to a discounted USPS shipping rate, eliminating the need to negotiate with the courier.
Once a business chooses its preferred shipping method, Postmen generates and prints shipping and prepaid return labels in a PDF format. The labels are certified by couriers, and companies can print them in any desired size. Postmen can generate multiple labels using CSV upload to speed up the shipping process.
“Our postal shipping lead time used to be 7-14 days, but COVID-19 caused that lead time to balloon to as much as 60+ days. At the same time, our postal costs rose by almost 100%,” said Steven Suh, the co-founder of Floship, a global order fulfillment solutions provider for e-commerce businesses. “For our business to survive the pandemic, we need to offer express shipping with major carriers, and Postmen allows us to do so. Rather than building our own carrier integrations, we can go through Postmen’s catalog of existing carrier integrations and get express shipping up and running within 2-3 days. Without Postmen, we’d need to hire 3 additional full-time developers to manage and maintain our shipping process. Postmen has been a huge time-saver for us and has helped accelerate offering new and better solutions for our clients.”
AfterShip is committed to helping businesses grow and scale their shipping processes. Postmen is available for free to all interested companies. Learn more about the shipping API here.
AfterShip (aftership.com) is a shipment tracking platform for online retailers, supporting more than 683 couriers worldwide. AfterShip helps over 100,000 retailers improve their post-purchase experience by providing a branded tracking page and sending proactive delivery updates. AfterShip has 2 other products – Postmen (postmen.com) and Returns Center (returnscenter.com). Postmen provides a simple shipping application and API for retailers to ship easily with any couriers worldwide at the lowest shipping rates. AfterShip Returns Center enables retailers to provide a self-service returns experience to their customers. AfterShip partners with major shopping cart solutions, including Shopify, Magento, Squarespace, BigCommerce. AfterShip, headquartered in Hong Kong, has 130 employees globally. AfterShip was the winner of the 2011 Global Startup Battle and 2011 Hong Kong Startup Weekend.